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Rage applying — what is this workplace trend with GenZ and is it really new

Rage-applying — what is this workplace trend with GenZ and is it really new

Rage-applying — what is this workplace trend with GenZ and is it really new
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By Nishtha Pandey   | Kanishka Sarkar  Jan 23, 2023 10:54:56 PM IST (Updated)

Rage-applying means sending out your resume to quite a few companies in an attempt to quickly find a new job with a hefty pay hike to get back at unfair bosses. And TikTok may have something to do with this trend. While some experts feel this is nothing new, others suggest that angry employees need to keep calm and have a conversation.

Moonlighting, quiet-quitting and career cushioning were the trends that emerged in the workplace culture in 2022. As we step into 2023, a new term — rage-applying — has taken over the internet. The term, which gained popularity after a TikTok video went viral, is resonating with both the GenZ and younger millennials.

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What is rage-applying all about?
'Rage-applying' is supposedly taking control of your unhappy professional life and applying to scores of vacant jobs to get back at your unfair bosses. In terms of your career, it aims to recognise your worth and assign a quantitative value to it.
In short, it means sending out your resume to quite a  few companies at the same time in an attempt to quickly find a new job with a hefty pay hike.
Social media marketer Redweez, a TikTok user from Canada, shared her experience of applying to 15 jobs after workplace related rage and landing a job which offered a $25,000 raise last December.
Garnering millions of views, it further led to many users vouching for the trend by sharing their successful stories of securing jobs with hefty hikes and perks.
Another TikToker Christen, went viral for bagging a 20 percent raise by rage-applying. “My salary journey = 60k to 150k would have taken me years and years to get that staying at one place,” she wrote. The video garnered more than 30 million views.
Cheering for her, many users wrote "Rage on,” in the comment section.
Who are rage-applying?
Young millennials and the GenZ are increasingly searching for new possibilities due to low salary, rising inflation, and increased borrowing interest rates in the West.
“Young workers are apt to rage-apply due to a lack of advancement, a lack of work-life balance, or simply losing interest in their jobs,” said Nidhi Sharma, a career counsellor and clinical psychologist in New-York.
Quoting from her cases, she said many employees, especially from the GenZ, do not want to confront their bosses on messed up work-life balance, sometimes they overwork and just cannot say no and at other times they ‘rage-apply’ to take out the anger. She said it was a way to show your boss that ‘I deserved to be paid better and treated better.’
According to Aditya Narayan Mishra, Managing Director and CEO of CIEL HR Services, in the last two-three years, employees have been facing a lot of changes in the workplace. Employees were asked to work from the office, and now they are being asked to return to office. Some part of the world is dealing with a recession and many employees have been laid off during this cost-cutting phase. As employees were adjusting to new norms, newer ones were coming up, making them feel anxious and burnt out — leading to switching jobs.
“Because of stagnancy in the economy, employees are finding fewer growth opportunities with their current employers. Many feel they are not recognised well by their managers and did not receive the expected promotion or appraisal. Out of all this frustration, employees are rage-applying. This trend will continue if we do not focus on employee expectations and retention,” he added.
Experts also suggested that rage-applying is not a new trend but the phrase certainly captures what it feels like to send off a flurry of frustration-fuelled applications without putting too much thought into the job role. Also, it does put the kind of workplaces we have right now into focus.
“Lack of proper growth opportunities, work-life balance or just losing interest in the job is enough to make young employees rage-apply. This is why culture becomes an integral part of any workplace, with increased employee engagement, proper work-life balance and rewards and recognition, organisations can avoid such trends which impacts retention rates of the employees,” said Smiti Deorah, COO & Co-Founder, Advantage Club, a global employee engagement platform.
India angle
When looked at from India’s perspective, multiple reports have suggested that employees have many issues at their workplaces. The recently-released PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey 2022 mentioned that millennials, among other age groups, are most likely to switch jobs in a year’s time and a third of Gen Z staff in India want to work for fewer hours as personal fulfilment is as important as financial reward, a new survey suggests.
According to staffing firm Indeed’s report, more than half (57 percent) of India’s workforce is unenthusiastic or bored with their current jobs, and over 50 percent are upskilling or reskilling for new opportunities.
LinkedIn's economic graph data suggests that the Indian workforce is resilient in the face of economic uncertainty, with 4 in 5 (80 percent) professionals considering changing jobs in 2023. Gen Z professionals are mostly driving this sentiment, as 88 percent of those in the 18-24 age group are considering a transition.
Is everything about rage-applying good?
Although there are success stories, experts say rash decisions might not be the best. There is no guarantee that more pay will lead to better job satisfaction or a better work-life balance.
Navneet Singh, Founder, Avsar, felt that by sending out many resumes to various employers, applicants may not think about whether the position would be a suitable match for them or not. “Blinded by anger and indignation, they accept the job that would pay them the most money without thinking about whether or not they will be psychologically pleased in their new position,” he pointed out.
According to Vidur Gupta, Director, Spectrum Talent Management, rage is not an appropriate or effective way to get a desired job and ask for a raise. There can be chances that the new job may not guarantee work-life balance as well. This may lead employees to regret shifting to a new job in a state of hurry — which is never the road to success.
He suggests that rather than rage-applying “it is important to approach the conversation about your job in a calm and professional manner, and to be able to clearly articulate your accomplishments and the reasons why you believe you deserve a raise. It can be helpful to come prepared with specific examples and data to support your request,” he said.
 
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